Archive for the Blathering Category

Reworking a Swiss Army Knife – EDC folder rework

Posted in Blathering, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , , on June 6, 2011 by Jim

I love the blade on the Victorinox florist knife. It has a great shape for what I need in my EDC. I do wish though, that it was a little more sturdily constructed.

This weekend, I set out to remedy this issue.

Here is my trusty apple slicer:

Victorinox florist Knife

You can see that it is well loved! Well, I loved it so much that I felt the need to grind the pins out and take it apart 😛

This knife is really well thought out and well made but I wanted it to be a bit heavier. Also, I am really surprised that they do not put a half stop in the blade. A half stop makes the blade pause at 90 degrees when you are closing it. A nice thing if your fingers might be in the way!

Here are the new brass liners (to replace the light aluminum ones that came on the knife), red liner material, and micarta scale blanks I planned to put on this lovely knife. I also ground a flat on the end of a blade to make that half stop I was wishing Victorinox would have done for me.

MicartaScalesAndBrassLinersForVictorinoxFloristKnife

A little time passes (internet magic and epoxy…) and here is the spine:

Spine of Swiss army knife rescaled with Green Micarta and red liners

And here it is, sitting so safely at that hoped for half stop:

Green micarta Swiss army knife rescale

My knife now has the heft and safety features I was hoping for. My lunch apples are very nervous!

Happy Making,

Jim

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Why I write Make Stuff With Your Hands

Posted in Blathering, Forging, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making, Woodworking on May 6, 2010 by Jim

An ulterior motive!

Could it be that I have a sneaky ulterior motive? Well of course. Sort of. Except, it is not sneaky, nor ulterior.

I love to teach, I really do. I want to teach classes on how to build things. I want to write books that help people learn how to build things. So many of the techniques that I use, I learned in books and I want to write one of those great books. I want to write something as amazing as The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking by James Krenov. I want to write something as useful as Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. I want to write something as beautiful and inspiring as Sam Maloof, Woodworker. This is why I am here. I practice my writing so I can put my thoughts in words and pictures for you – even as I practice my craft. This blog will help me write a book that will be easy to learn from and full of amazing projects that you will want to build!

Amazing Teachers

I surely did not figure all this out just with books. My dad is a maker and put tools in my hands straight away. I also had an amazing apprenticeship with a master carpenter. Besides being a carpenter, he had an art degree, and was a musician. He stood next to me every day for years and he taught me how to make things. When I asked him if I could be his apprentice, he told me that I could if I promised to pass it along. Passing along making is why I write Make Stuff With Your Kid. I apprenticed under a master furniture maker for a year and he and I inspired each other – then we made a ton of wooden hand planes and patted ourselves on the back a little too much. (but anyway…)

My Future

I am going to keep writing for you. I will share my projects, and if you ask, I will help you with yours. I am making teaching and craft a part of every day of my life. It brings me great joy and I and hope that I can help you like others helped me. (John, you said I had to promise, and here I am!)

Alright, enough jawing already and on to the Craft…

I promised you some draw-knives and here are some draw-knives:

Hand made draw knife

My dad made these little beauties out of an old hand saw blade. I hope to turn some handles for them this weekend. I could not wait for handles, so since I took this picture, I sharpened them and tried them out. The are as sweet as they look. I took a few pulls at a duck decoy I have in the works and they are lovely. I can already tell that these will be my go-to tools for roughing out a new carving.

Thanks for coming by,

-Jim